Mono County Awarded USDA Rural Development Broadband Technical Assistance Grant; Funding Will Help Bring Internet Service to Hammil Community

MONO COUNTY, Calif. (FEBRUARY 28, 2024) – On February 21, 2024, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced awarding Mono County with a USDA Rural Development Broadband Technical Assistance (BTA) grant in the amount of $83,000 to develop an efficient, last-mile internet service solution design for the Hammil area.  The award was announced as part of an investment of more than $770 million for rural infrastructure projects during USDA’s “Investing in America Tour.”  The goal of the funding is to bring high-speed internet, clean drinking water, and modern infrastructure to more than one million people in rural communities.

“There is currently no wireline internet service available in Hammil, and little interest from incumbent providers in constructing and providing wireline broadband internet service in the community,” said Scott Armstrong, Regional Broadband Coordinator for the Eastern Sierra Council of Governments.  “This grant will allow us to develop a solution design for the Hammil area that will enable either a community-based cooperative or regional provider to deliver internet service to the community.”

Mono County will now work through the competitive selection process to identify a contractor to develop the shovel-ready, last-mile detailed network engineering designs for the residences and businesses in Hammil.  We will be able to use the resulting design work from this project to better estimate the funding needed for last-mile infrastructure construction, as well as identify the type of grant funding that would work best for this community.

BTA grants provide financial assistance through cooperative agreements to eligible entities to receive or deliver broadband technical assistance and training, and supports the development and expansion of broadband cooperatives.  Details on the BTA awards can be accessed here.  Details on the BTA program can be accessed here.  For additional information please contact Scott Armstrong at (760) 878-8006.